A Purcell Estate man who claimed he uses cannabis as an antidepressant was slapped with a fine when he appeared before Magistrate Shawn Innocent this week.
Joshanna Rankin, a bush-cutter, was fined $750 after pleading guilty to possession of 80 grams of cannabis.
He is to pay the sum within three months or in default serve 30 days at Her Majesty’s Prison in Balsam Ghut.
He was found with the drugs on May 30 while he was living at the Purcell Estate Community Centre with other hurricane-displaced persons.
He claimed that he lost ‘everything’ in the 2017 hurricanes and, at the time, was suffering from depression.
The court heard that on the day in question, members of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force were executing a search warrant at the centre.
When the police searched Rankin’s quarters, he hurled a ziplock bag containing cannabis through an open window.
The bag and its contents were retrieved and Rankin was subsequently arrested and charged. The cannabis in question had a street value of $800, the court heard.
When questioned by police, the offender admitted to throwing the substance through the window but claimed that he did not sell drugs.
He insisted that the drugs were for his personal use to assist him to manage his post-hurricane depression.
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